Can you adopt with past history of depression?
Hello all,
My husband and I are researching adoption, especially international adoption in Kazakhstan.

Many of the agency applications we have come across make blanket statements such as "We do not accept applicants with a history of mental illness."

I was successfully treated for a bout of depression a couple of years ago, and do not have any current problems.

Has anyone had success adopting with a history of depression?

Also, why do agencies make such blanket statements when the term mental illness covers such a broad spectrum of conditions? It is like saying, "We do not accept applicants with a history of physical illness." Of course, this is outrageous because there is a big difference between high blood pressure and terminal cancer.

I find it ironic that adoption literature speaks frequently of post-adoption depression and appears very supportive in this area, yet makes it sound like all types of mental illness would preclude adoption.

Thanks in advance for any experience or info. you could provide.

Take care,
Lentil Soup

Each country is able to set their own requirements as far as International adoption goes. They can pretty much restrict anyone they want, because the laws protecting those with 'disabilities' don't exist in other countries.

I'm not real familiar with the program in Kaz, because it hasn't been really active in recent years (to my knowledge)...but I do know that mental illness (in your case, depression) would NOT rule you out for other countries or even domestic adoption.

The Eastern European countries tend to have a lot of rules regarding mental health...currently, some regions in Russia require a clean mental health exam and letter attesting to 'no mental illness'.

To know the answer to your question, you'll need to ask the agency you're looking at. It's possible that they don't consider depression as mental illness. I can't see any agency excluding hopeful adoptive parents from a program because of depression - especially when many hopeful adoptive parents have experienced depression due to infertility and/or failed fertility treatments.

I think it's important that you pose this question to your agency and find out if they've had adoptive parents successfully adopt from Kaz with a history of depression. Make sure you pose the question like that...its really important that you ask if anyone has ever been successful with a history of depression - because if you ask if they've ever had a client who battled depression, that may not give you the full picture if that client was never able to adopt. Trust me, there ARE agencies out there who will tell you just about anything to get you to sign on the dotted lineso do A LOT of researchŅcoming here was a great first step!
Thanks BrandyHagz,
That's encouraging information. Also, I like your advice to ask the agency whether they have had "adoptive parents successfully adopt from Kaz with a history of depression." Their response would let me know whether they have worked with people in this situation before, as well as their attitudes toward depression in general.

Take care,
Lentil Soup
I don't know about adopting from another country. but I know that with our adoptions it was never an issue. I suffered from major depression when I lost my father, then even more so when dealing with our infertility issues. I am actually on welbuterine. DH has PTSD from being molested as a child as well. We simply got notes from our doctor.

I think that depression being as wide spread as it is these days that what the real concerns are is probably bi-polar, schitsophrenia (sp?), and other major diseases effecting the ability to raise a child in a stable environment.
I definitely agree that you should check with the agencies that you are interested in and find out what they have found qualifies as "mental illness". I don't mean to belittle anyone who struggles with severe issues such as scyhzophrenia or are bi-polar, but as a person who has suffered from depression on and off (and who takes Prozac just to keep things balanced) I REALLY don't consider myself "mentally ill". Maybe that's just me - but I think its a matter of degrees. Now, we are adopting domestically and it hasn't seemed to be an issue for us so far!
We are in the homestudy process for a domestic adoption and we were told by our agency that it would be no problem. DH and I have both had problems with depression and he was also diagnosed with PTSD. The agency said as long as we addressed it on our health forms and the doctor was comfortable saying he thought we'd be good parents, then we'd be fine.
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